Writers learn to use their writing in many ways over a lifetime, sometimes for personal satisfaction and sometimes for career. Once in a great while they intersect. At the meeting of my writers’ group, the Columbus Christian Writers’ Association last Saturday, one of our members asked a question. “When you write speeches or do business writing do you find that using the technical side of your brain tend to dull the creative side of your brain?”
Several members of the group agreed with her that the writing we do for others can hinder the creative writing our heart cries out to do. In my “regular” job I do a lot of technical support for customers and I write speeches for a company. The speeches I still consider creative because they are all different. But, the technical support can drain me dry some days so that when I get home I have little left. So, I know that dull, numb feeling well.
So, how does a writer keep the creativity alive? How do we continue to create beautiful pieces of artistry when the life around us hammers us with dry, uninventive, scripted work?
As the Apostle Paul instructed young Timothy in I Timothy 1:6, “Wherefore, I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God…” Although this scripture speaks of the anointing God placed on Timothy by the laying on of hands, I believe the thought behind it is fitting. We as writers must be responsible for stirring up the writing gift within us that is a gift from God just as surely as any other gift. God places natural gifts within us just like he does spiritual gifts. Just as a musician must practice regularly or a carpenter must build things regularly so they can develop their skills and talents, so must a writer regularly stir up the gift of writing.
Our advice to our writer friend was this: make time every day, even if it’s only five minutes, to write something that gives you joy; write something that gives wings to your creative spirit. It’s not how long you write or how much you write. It’s that you write and that you write things that feed your soul. As you daily make a habit of this your creative self will grow.
Imagine your writing self to be an eaglet. You as the mother eagle must feed the baby eaglet until it is old enough to fly. At the proper time the mother launches the baby into the air to fly. It may take a few tries, with a few failures, but eventually the baby eaglet catches just the right updraft and rides it all the way to the top, soaring through the air with ease. There is nothing more beautiful than an eagle simply riding the air waves, not needing to flap its wings because it has caught the wind and the wind carries it along.
I encourage each writer who reads this to stir up the writing gift within you on a regular basis, even if in small ways. Then one day your writing self will soar on the wings of eagles.